Upon making our way through the Mondrian Hotel in Soho, we first had to wander through a vine encased arched hallway, followed by multiple sets of vaulted ceilings with large chandeliers. Several foyers deep into the hotel we came upon a bar positioned next to a large revolving bookcase. The book laden wall opened up to reveal a lively group of young art enthusiasts milling around three paintings by artist Logan Hicks. Upon first glance, Logan’s work appears to be large, stylized photographs or photo realistic paintings, but after closer observation Hicks’ paintings reveal vast layers of texture and depth created through his unique method of building up many layers of spray painted stencils in a fashion that is similar to screen printing.
The photo realistic images have a nostalgia in their color palette, featuring an overarching haze of blue. In “Deep Sleep”, 2014, the painting is cast in deep shadows of a dark background enshrouding the image of an adult woman in an elegant white gown being submerged by a set of arms into water in what appears to be a baptism ceremony. The carefully styled woman who is half submerged in water, dons delicate hair and makeup along with a calm appearance and relaxed smile on her face. The unique perspective of the painting allows the viewer to see the image from a side angle; or one that is half submerged in water and half above as the woman is being baptized. The delicate and ruffled folds of the woman’s white gown seem to flourish and float weightlessly under water, white reflecting patches of light and shadow. Hicks’ inspiration behind these pieces is to create dream like imagery, which comes across very strong in “Deep Sleep”.
The largest piece in the exhibit, “And the Ocean Washed Away Time”, portrays layers upon layers of extremely dense buildings of a city which fill the entire canvas from end to end. This piece too is glazed over in a subdued wash of teal blue. The image depicts an almost grid like pattern of contrasting horizontal and vertical lines of architecture in a vast layering of geometry. The complexity and density of the buildings creates a sensation of something so vast that it is impossible to be perceived at once. The notion of Hicks using layers upon layers of stencils is only amplified by the immense layering of architecture in the image. Upon close examination, the viewer can see round spatters and speckles of spray paint of varying colors cast upon the different sections of Hicks’ paintings, creating a surprisingly rich texture and subtle element of randomness. Dark shadowy trees line some of the buildings in the bottom front of the painting, where delicate liquid like patterns in the paint can be perceived up close. “And the Ocean Washed Away Time” too emanates a strong dream like energy, as it blurs the lines between reality and fantasy using very subtle and delicate techniques of randomness combined with highly skilled photorealistic stenciling.
Logan Hicks: Beyond the Bookcase curated by Lozi Zimmer
The Mondrian Hotel
9 Crosby Street NYC
Writing by Lia Simone
Photography by Jamie Martinez